Thu, 11 Mar 1999

Restoring peace in East Timor

It is vital to disarm groups whose murderous attacks inflame the passion for revenge, escalate violence and so jeopardize hopes of reconciliation among East Timorese. Without reconciliation there can be no peace. The problem of paramilitary groups, many armed by Indonesia, will have to be faced if it persists. (Australian foreign minister Alexander) Downer is right to rule out for the time being a UN peacekeeping force. The primary responsibility for stabilizing the situation in East Timor rests with the Indonesian government and the people of East Timor. They are the ones who will have to live together.

-- The Sydney Morning Herald